Mourns One of Its Own, Iyyaasuu Guutaa

Iyyaasuu Guutaa was a nationalist and a dedicated friend of Gubirmans. We are saddened by the sudden death of this Oromo youth of high character; a flawless upright gentleman with a sharp mind. Iyyaasuu was born in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) on March 18, 1979 to Baayisaa Guutaa and Martha Xaafaa. He was cared for and brought up by his grandmother whom he loved without reservation. As a young boy, Iyyaasuu enjoyed helping her in her gardening and other chores including looking after chickens and collecting eggs. He was devastated when he was told of her passing by his newly arrived mother.

Iyyaasuu completed elementary and high school in Finfinnee's public school system and came to the US through the DV program after graduating from high school. This was a great moment that Iyyaasuu cherished the most; the opening of opportunity for his younger siblings and parents to come to America. While processing for his primary family reunion, Iyyaasuu enrolled in the State University of New York at Old Westbury In 2002. He graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems. He was well respected and loved for his excellent character by all of his peers and all those acquainted with him for his work ethic and dedication.

When Iyyaasuu first arrived in New York, he was alone with no friends or family in the city. However, he built a community of friends that helped him through the tough times and loneliness of leaving his family behind. As would be expected, his early days in the US were very challenging, but he overcame those challenges through hard work driven by the hope of doing better for his family. Iyyaasuu had friends that supported him through the good times and the bad; in particular Guutama’s children and in-laws in Washington DC and New York. They were always there for him as he was always there for them. He was one of them.

In New York, Iyyaasuu lived with Ibsaa Guutama and Feleqech Gebreegzi'abher's family prior to his family joining him in the US. He was never seen as different from their own son who was also his intimate friend. He was never far away thereafter, attending Friday get-togethers for chats, modest feast and card games as well as for weddings and anniversaries. Iyyaasuu's parents were hosted by the family until he arranged for them to have their own quarter on arrival of his siblings.

Iyyaasuu was a loving, caring, giving, generous, humble and highly respectable individual. He loved playing with kids and kids loved him for his positive attitude and for being the youngest of the adults. They always asked for him when he was away for duty. They missed him whenever he was gone for those few days. Above all he was a beloved uncle for Guutama's grandchildren. Some had the opportunity to accompany him to his final rest. Now they will miss him forever but will live cherishing his memory.

Iyyaasuu was a devoted Oromo nationalist and participated in several Oromo political, social and cultural activities. He was a volunteer on the website until his last days of consciousness. Iyyaasuu played a major role in all aspects of the website. His last post "Qeerroo mataa tuutaa" will forever remain in the memories of Gubirmans volunteers. He also served in different capacities in the New York Oromo community and was one of the founders of the Oromo youth league in New York and Joobraa – the soccer team that used to represent New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in many interstate games. He was also one of the star players of the team. Iyyaasuu was passionate about sports, and in particular, the Arsenal Football Club. Go Gunners!

Iyyaasuu was taken to New York Hospital in Queens on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Ibsaa, his wife, and children were able to visit him for the last five days of his life. He was taken off life support with his beloved girlfriend, Hiree Abdii by his side, on Friday August 7, 2015 at around 4 AM. Hiree was at his deathbed day and night until his last breath. Iyyaasuu is survived by his parents and three siblings. His death was preceded by that of his beloved grandmother. Iyyaasuu was always an Oromoo first and shall remain remembered as such. We at Gubirmans bid him farewell with tears in our eyes and sadness in our hearts. May his soul rest in peace.

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty, equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our forefathers!

Ibsaa Guutama
September 2015

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